The contemporary baptismal font for Olmo by Raul Gabriel
The baptistery of the church of Olmo, Perugia, Raul Gabriel 2015
I conceived the baptismal font of Olmo as the representation of the stream that comes out forcefully from the central body. Water and blood, according to Chrysostom's meditation who sees them as constituent elements of the body of the church. Wound and birth are united by blood and water that accompany and seal them. The tub is designed to restore the perception of water even in its absence. The blood, the red travertine block, literally enters the body of the church with which it establishes a chromatic continuity through the intervention in Palladiana, the carpet of the baptismal font itself. The blood is like a karst river that crosses the church to reappear in the tabernacle and in the altar.
The formal layout of the baptistery starts from the curves and from the conception of asymmetrical symmetry of the church itself. When the water enters the body of the tub, it overlaps, accompanies and covers its shape in continuity and not as an overlap. The lines of the Palladiana are designed to convey a sense of the dynamism of the event. Raul Gabriel's source for the church of Olmo is a constant imbalance resolved into a solid structural form. The two apparently incompatible elements find a solution in the perception of a dynamism that is constantly in fieri.
Wound and childbirth
Water and blood that flow like a gush suspended in its initial dynamic moment belong to two events in the body at one time: birth and injury. Both prelude to the new, to the act of regenerating, to life in a new form.
Contemporary art and sacred: Raul Gabriel on the baptismal font: the baptismal font is a dynamic and relational element, a perennially dynamic place of connection, relationship and transformation